On the surface, KBS+ associate creative director Alejandra Garibay looks like a total slacker. On any given day at work, you might find her doing her nails or spending a ridiculous amount of time adding images to her Pinterest account. The 30-year-old Mexico-born graduate of Pasadena, Calif.-based Art Center College of Design is obsessed with fashion and beauty -- "My No. 1 passion has always been fashion," she said. But she's channeled that love into some very big things, like winning accounts, helping to carve out the agency's innovative IP ideas and making her audience of 650,000-plus Pinterest followers happy (Ms. Garibay is one of the 250 most followed pinners on the platform).
Ms. Garibay, along with her partner Kat Dropick, is a creative director on the agency's custom nail polish product, a system that allows polish aficionados to customize their own shades on the spot, like you do at the paint store.
Ms. Garibay's fashion obsession has also paid off on her client work at the agency. One of her first big projects was an interactive campaign for Armani Jeans that built off a pair of sexy black and white films starring Megan Fox and soccer pro Cristiano Ronaldo. The effort took visitors into the hotel rooms of the celebrities and allowed them to get a closer look into their personal lives -- and underthings. "We had these videos of these big stars and thought, how can we milk them to make them bigger, and different?" she explained. "We didn't have a lot of money, so we recreated the rooms, exactly as in the videos, and created an immersive experience that allowed people to explore and touch everything."
Ms. Garibay's fashion sense also helped her score one of her first big pitches at the agency in 2012 -- a tri-brand holiday campaign for Home Goods, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. She and the team came up with the idea of the "Gifter,"a heroine who would "win" the holidays by finding designer goods at the stores. "We wanted to try to elevate the stores a bit more because you can find really good brands there," she said. That led to two consecutive cinematic blockbuster-style campaigns, shot by directors Todd Field (Little Children) and Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) -- and, to the delight of Ms. Garibay, styled by Hollywood stylist Alexis Zipp. Currently, Ms. Garibay's planning on the next round of holiday work for the brands, as well as a campaign for a new Gwen Stefani fragrance.
5.7% Hispanic agency revenue growth
As for her social-media passion, it's something she believes translates to a useful on-the-job tool. "I feel like I'm learning the patterns of people," she said. "I just started on Instagram and I went from 0 followers to 700 pretty fast by learning what hashtags are getting the most followers. I'm a geek about those things."
Ms. Garibay said that even before Pinterest was around, she was "pinning" day and night. "Being an art director, I had my own hard drive with folders -- the same folders I had then are the ones I have on Pinterest. Mood boards are a tool I use every day and that I need to get inspired. One day my friend, Marcela Contrera, a blogger from Mexico, got the beta version of Pinterest and introduced me to it. It became my crack. My bosses would say to me, 'Please stop pinning and get back to work.' But now, even on all my jobs today, I always start the creative process with a mood board."
See the rest of the 2014 Creatives You Should Know.